The Talent Agenda

THE GOAL:  Aligning innovative higher education instructional programs and student experiences with expected job opportunities and workforce needs, so talent develops and stays in Virginia and employers have the well-prepared workforce needed for growth. 

Talent development and recruitment/retention require a multifaceted strategy, including these higher education investments that will address workforce priorities, drive economic growth, and create better job opportunities for Virginians:

  • HIGH-DEMAND DEGREES. Strategic investments in high-demand two- and four-year degrees and industry-recognized credentials.
    • Technology and other high-growth sector initiatives (e.g., Tech Talent Investment Program; Commonwealth Cybersecurity Initiative; life sciences and bio sciences)
    • Programs to address identified workforce shortages and regional skills gaps (e.g., teaching and healthcare positions; skilled trades)
    • Initiatives to keep talented Virginians in state for education and employment, and to attract top talent from outside the Commonwealth, especially for high-growth, high-demand sectors.
  • EXPERIENTIAL LEARNING. Internships and work-based learning initiatives.
    • Using the new Innovative Internship Fund to create a major state-supported collaboration (among employers and business groups, higher ed institutions, and K-12 school systems) to establish learning-to-earning pathways and significantly expand systemwide access to internships and other experiential-learning opportunities.
    • Innovative initiatives that integrate experiential learning in liberal arts curriculum to prepare resilient, well-rounded graduates ready for workplace success and active citizenship.
  • INSTITUTIONAL PARTNERSHIPS. Using the new Institutional Partnership Performance Agreement (IPPA) statute to develop institution-specific initiatives and business-education partnerships that capitalize on schools’ distinctive strengths in addressing state and regional economic priorities.
  • EXPANDING ACCESS. Initiatives that increase access to talent development and employment pathways for first-generation and under-represented students, working adults with partial college credit, and veterans.
    • Enhanced online educational options, community college transfer programs, and other alternative pathways to marketable degrees and credentials.
  • RESEARCH AND INNOVATION. Strategic investments in university-based research and collaborative entrepreneurial ecosystems.
  • TALENT FOR TALENT. Increased state support for attracting and retaining key instructional and research faculty talent, especially to support talent development in high-demand, high-growth disciplines.

Take Action Now

Virginia’s budget is still under construction. It takes only a minute to let the governor and legislators know you support investing in college affordability and good jobs for all Virginians.


Learn More

Watch the 2019 video below to learn more about Growth4VA.